I Was Wrong about HD Format Winner

It appears that I was dead wrong about the winner of the HD Format war. Since Toshiba officially declared stopping production of HD-DVD players on Tuesday it seems that Blu-Ray is going to move in as a market leader. It seems that we were all wrong – remember the HD-DVD vs BluRay poll. Yeah, we all got fooled. Oh, and btw, since my cousin is blaming me for making her waste money on the loosing technology, I am in turn blaming you guys and I have that poll to prove that you have given me the wrong advice. ;)

Why did we pick the looser back then? I think we looked at this assuming the choice will be made by customers, not the movie studios. My logic went like this: HD-DVD is cheaper, and so more accessible. Early adopters will likely go with the less expensive technology and will start building their collections in that format. BluRay being the high end, more expensive choice will have a smaller initial user base, and a slower uptake. I assumed movie studios will go with the flow of the market and support whichever platform gives them access to a bigger chunk of the market. Logically it worked out.

But I forgot that free market rules do not apply when you are dealing with extortion racket. Everyone loves Hollywood movies, and Hollywood has practical monopoly on them. They don’t really need to follow the market on this one. As long as enough big studios throw their weight behind some format, because it has “moar DRM” this format will become the de-facto standard. It’s that simple. It doesn’t really matter how many people buy HD-DVD – if there is no good movies coming out in that format because the studios decided not to support it, then it will die a natural death sooner or later.

Now that I think about it, it figures that overwhelming number of big studios picked Sony. After all, Sony is also involved in the content distribution racket. Who can understand Hollywoods silly DRM needs better than the company that already illustrated blatant disregard for both their customers and talent by silently installing rootkits onto millions of systems worldwide as means of copy protection. Sony is their people. How come I didn’t see it earlier. Sigh, I guess hindsight is always 20/20.

I have noticed that prices of the HD-DVD hardware has already plummeted down and will likely continue to do so. When I checked last night, Wallmart was selling some of the cheaper Tochiba models a little bit over a $100 which is almost half of what they were when I was last shopping for HD players few months ago. Retailers are probably going to slash the prices very drastically to sell as many of the now obsolete equipment before people catch onto this. Blu Ray players are still comfortably in the $400 range.

I guess the new question is, is it better to buy the slightly more expensive PS3 or a standalone Blu Ray player? Which one would you get?

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12 Responses to I Was Wrong about HD Format Winner

  1. Adam UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I went with a PS3 for $279 which is a great deal if you don’t mind opening a Sony card.

    There are no ideal Blu-ray players at this time. Profile 2.0 players do not exist yet, but it has been announced that the PS3 will support it.

    The PS3 does not have an IR sensor so you can’t fully control it with a universal remote. It also cannot decode or pass through DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, though it’s possible that could be added in the future.

    Whichever player you choose today it’s a compromise. The PS3 has Eye of Judgment and Ratchet & Clank so the decision was easy for me. :)

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  2. Zack UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Neither! lol. No but seriously…If I absolutely had to own an HD player, i’d get the PS3 just because I find it silly to drop $400 bucks on a DVD player. I remember when regular DVD players were $250-300 bucks…now you can find them for $50. I’m perfectly content waiting for them to get down to about $100. I don’t think it will take very long now that the format war is over. I may be wrong about that…but I think when more people start buying BluRay players, the prices will drop.

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  3. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Yeah…this sucks. There’s not one reliable Blu-ray player out there except for the PS3 and I’ll be damned if I buy one of those. The players are more expensive, and the discs less reliable and more costly to produce…with way more DRM crap. Makes me pissed too, that I spent money on it…um…based on YOUR recommendation btw! You owe me $200 Cdn for the player and about $100 for movies :) heh I have a paypal account lol

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  4. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    PS3, I guess.

    Also: loose != lose. Check the first two paragraphs. </grammar nazi>

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Adam – nice deal. Thanks for the info. With the Profile 2.0 thing it does seem like PS3 would be the smartest choice now.

    I wonder if they can add DTS-HD Audio via firmware upgrade, or does it require specific hardware to be present. :/

    @Zack – I think you are right. I’m gonna wait. But my cousin wants to be an early adopter. She already got burned with HD-DVD (she returned the player to the store yesterday LOL) so she will probably wait a bit now but she keeps asking which she should buy. So that’s what I’m bringing this up.

    Personally, I’d probably go with PS3 if I wanted a console AND BluRay just because of the games. But I could pretty much get the same games with Xbox which would be much cheaper.

    My cousin is not a big gamer – although she does play from time to time. I remember she used to love Sims, and Age of Mythology. Oh, and she used to play Toombrider 2 on my PS1 back in the day. All things considered she kinda seems more like a candidate for a Wii though.

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  6. Anetta UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ok so I’m the cousin who should have waited till the war was over before getting a player, but what can I say, it was a nice xmas gift. So yeah as Luke said I returned the Toshiba HD-DVD player to Costco yesterday. Luckily I still had the box and the gift receipt and got my money back. I think I’m going to wait it out a bit before I jump in and get any particular player. I like the idea of the PS3 but I am more of a wii person.. dunno what to do.. I heard from many reviews online that the PS3 is definitely not the best blue ray player out there but who knows. I’ll take all the suggestions I can get!

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    OMG! Anetta commenting on my blog! NO WAI!!! 8O

    I guess best bet is to wait a bit and see what will happen on the market next. Especially since you are not going to be getting that much use out of it. The movies will continue being expensive, and places like Blockbuster are still relying mostly on DVD. :)

    Btw, did you actually even use the HD-DVD player for anything since we tested it Christmas Eve?

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  8. May I remind you all of Laser-Disk and VHS, Laser-Disk was much better however the porn industry supported VHS, so VHS won.

    Industry picks the standards in technology, not the user. We are very weak as consumers and don’t stand up for our selfs; We buy Nike shoes even though they are made in sweat shops for pennies while we pay hundreds of dollars, same thing with wal*mart.

    Back in Techno-land, we pay high prices to play video games online, when we know they could be ad-supported. I know many people don’t like advertisements but honestly it could make life cheaper, fly in an airplane, have your announcements start with “thank you for flying cheap-o air, this flight is brought to you with limited interuption by SONY ENTERTAINMENT” and such.
    Nothing on the internet NEEDS to be paid for, paying for things should give you an incentive, not a requirement.

    We allow our selfs to become overwhelm with wants without working together as consumers and getting what we want.

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  9. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Hi Luke,

    I would not buy any of PS3 or BR player until it is actually deadly necessary (i.e. until any of my favorite games is sold only in BR format and I have a brand new computer). By that time the price will have dropped under the $100. I don’t like to get ripped off or racketed and I don’t need a PS3 (I am a PC owner, which means that any game out there is going to be looking three times better on my PC). So simple it is…

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  10. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I’ll be waiting for the price to come waaay down, and for there to be stuff I actually want to watch that I can’t get any other way.

    Could be a while

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  11. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Travis: Yeah, that makes sense, until you realize that the porn industry supported HD-DVD this time around. As far as I can see, this contest was determined by Toshiba and Sony whoring themselves out to content creators, and Sony just happened to be the bigger whore (more experience, probably).

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  12. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    There were other good reasons to get behind HD-DVD. Look at who was on the board – intel, microsoft, and a good number of the studios. Blu-ray had sony, apple, dell, hp, and some other big shots. As far as market dominance goes, if I had to bet between microsoft/intel and apple/sony – I’d absolutely expect intel/microsoft would trump.

    HD DVDs were XP readable with the 360 HD DVD drive and the driver. I don’t know that Blu-ray is there yet. For storage, I’d absolutely pick blu-ray, but Sony has a long history of creating an arguably better product (betamax, minidisc, atrac3, etc), locking it down, and being supplanted by a cheap alternative. This seemed like more of the same, but I suppose sony learned their lesson.

    When hd dvd was completely cracked, and blu-ray was only partially cracked, studios probably started looking at blu-ray. You can get blu-ray drives for $150 now, so hd dvd isn’t cheaper. Game set match.

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